The use of a grid-patterned material is not a new thing, but it’s extremely effective. In the case of the R1 Pullover, Patagonia have used Polartec Power Stretch. It is smooth on the outside, but on the inside there’s a grid pattern of small blocks on insulated material and little lines of thinner material.

It works simply by allowing some breeze to cut through it when it is exposed, but under a shell those gaps insulate (it is air, not material that insulates). It’s hugely effective and I’ve used it in Páramo and Mountain Equipment garments, including The North Face garment here. It’s the most versatile material for a midlayer.

The Power Stretch is, yes, very stretchy and the R1 Pullover fits me well and I like the length of it. The sleeves are long and there are thumb holes. It has a half zip that fastens just below the chin and is comfy. There’s a mesh breast pocket, big enough for a phone. It’s really comfy against the skin too and very light. An excellent garment, but at a price.

By Daniel Neilson